The European Union has decided to impose sanctions on 11 Ivorians believed to be obstructing the peace process in Ivory Coast. Who are the powerful aides considered to be among those most faithful to Laurent Gbagbo?
They are eleven men and women targeted by recent EU sanctions for their continuing support of Gbagbo and refusal to acknowledge the victory of Alassane Outtara in the November 28 presidential election. They are at the heart of the “Gbagbo system”, an exclusive club comprising mainly of the military and media elite. They have been pulling the strings of Ivorian politics since 2002.
The sanctions against them are two-fold: firstly, the EU wants to freeze any and all financial assets belonging to these people within the European zone. Added to this, EU countries agreed to enforce visa restrictions which would prevent each of them from travelling within Europe. The EU "decided to adopt without delay targeted, restrictive measures against those who are obstructing the process of peace and national reconciliation," the EU foreign ministers declared in a statement.
Of the 11 people named, most are military officials. But among those targeted are also the director of the National Council of Audiovisual Communication (NCAC) and the president of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), Laurent Gbagbo’s party. However, neither Gbagbo, nor his wife have been named by the EU.
Also on the blacklist is Pierre Israel Amessan Brou, the Director General of Ivorian Radio and Television (RTI), one of the main media organisations supporting Gbagbo; Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Vagba Faussignaux; the head of the Security Group of the President of the Republic (SGRP), Ahouman Brouha Nathanael and the chief of the Republican Guard, General Dogbo Ble.
Kadet Bertin, Laurent Gbagbo's adviser
Former Minister of Defence (2002-2003), Kadet Bertin is currently the defence and security adviser to Laurent Gbagbo. Bertin, nephew of the incumbant president, is also widely regarded as the unofficial head of the Ivorian army.
Anselme Seka Yapo, bodyguard to Laurent Gbagbo's wife
The bodyguard of Simone Gbagbo (pictured), is considered to be carrying out the regime's dirty work. Her detractors implicate her in the 2002 assassination of army general Gueï. Her name also appears in the inquiry into the death of journalist Guy-André Kie in 2004.
Georges Guiai Bi Poin, Commander of Security Operations
The head of the Command Centre of Security Operations led the crackdown on opposition protests in March 2004. He has also accused France of opening fire upon the same protest crowd in November 2004.
Desiré Asségnini Tagro, Secretary General of the Presidency
Former Interior Minister, Désiré Tagro, is the newly appointed Secretary General of the Ivorian presidency. Gbagbo's confidante, he was instrumental in the Ouagadougou agreement.
Paul Yao N'Dre, President of the Constitutional Council
It was Yao N'Dre himself who took the decision to announce Laurent Gbagbo winner of the presidential election. Founding member of the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), he is the henchman of Gbagbo's camp.
Franck Anderson Kouassi, president of the NCAC
He was editor the newspaper "Le Jour" before being appointed by Gbagbo as head of the National Council of Audiovisual Communication (NCAC) in 2009. It has been in this capacity that Kouassi suspended foreign radio and television stations in Ivory Coast
Pascal Affi N'Guessan, President of the FPI
The director of Laurent Gbagbo's presidential campaign joined the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) in the 1980s, and has since become President of the party. Extremely loyal to Gbagbo, he was appointed as the first head of government from 2000 to 2003.
Date created : 2010-12-17